Councils have blocked plans by Highways England to infill almost 70 disused railyway bridges and tunnels because they say Britain’s Victorian heritage could be at stake.
The Telegraph reports that critics of the scheme say future plans to reuse the sites as footpaths and cycleways will in this case, be destroyed if woerk was to go ahead.
The report said that at least 15 councils have told Highways England that planning permission is needed if they wish to infill historical bridges and tunnel in their respective areas.
Hertfordshire County Council has already rejected a planning application to infill two bridges between Hereford and Hay-On-Wye in the county. The council said that ‘irreversible harm’ will be caused to the historic landscape if Gough bridge and Hurstley bridge were to be blocked up.
The Historical Railyways Estate Group, an alliance of engineers, cyclists and heritage campaigners said that there are 134 disused railyway brisges and tunnels across Britain, many of which were built in the 19th century, have been earmarked for infilling or demolition over the next five years.